My first day at primary school was in September 19&&. Like most mothers in those days, the Deceased Lady was a SAHM. I’d never been to a nursery, a playgroup, or pre-school.
FJ, the boy next door, was also starting school that morning. The Deceased Lady and I walked to Metroland Primary with FJ and his mother. Beforehand, we dropped in to their house. FJ’s mother opened a drawer, took out a clean handkerchief, and gave it to FJ. He put it into his pocket.
(Were we going to attend school for half-days to begin with? I don’t know. Certainly I have no memory of doing half-days.)
When we entered the Reception classroom, someone ushered me away to a table on the right-hand side, and sat me down next to some other kids. I started playing with the not-very-impressive toys on the table.
Meanwhile, just inside the doorway of the classroom, two girls had burst into tears. They didn’t want to be left at school. One of them was clinging to mummy. She was persuaded to take a few steps into the classroom, but then she ran back and clung on again. I couldn’t imagine why she was making so much fuss. As though her mummy wouldn’t be coming back later and taking her home!
The Deceased Lady must have been doing something right.
[Original posting 9 September 2011]